HE SAID WHAT?!
Posted By Eric
I have never been someone to shy away from making bold statements, yet I can’t help the feeling that I am entering dangerous waters here. The subject is about women feeling the pressure to lose the baby weight. I feel the need to first say a few things before my house gets egged and toilet papered. I have never, ever told my wife or any women that they need to lose weight so that they will look good. I actually think losing weight for the sole purpose to look good is completely dumb, unless you’re single and ready to mingle! However, I am a big advocate for being healthy and living a long, happy life.
Right now my wife is about 7 months post birth and I think she looks good. If I ever tell her to “go to the gym” it is only to train for athletic events she has signed up for. Yet, I constantly hear things like, “It’s just impossible to lose the extra pounds” or the famous, “She looks good after a few months…I hate her.” Then you have the Hollywood celebrities who are super thin within two months after giving birth. I don’t want to spend too much time on celebrities but THAT IS THEIR JOB. They spend three hours, five days a week at the gym so it makes sense that they look amazing after two months.
So my claim is this: if you feel like you really want to lose weight but can’t, then you don’t want it bad enough. Like I already stated, I do not expect my wife to be super slim and in perfect shape. But if she really wanted to get that extra weight off, she would work harder. I wake up early to run four days a week and also go swimming during my lunch to train for a triathlon that I have not even signed up for yet! Okay, maybe my example is a bit crazy but my point is, you have to set a goal and go after it. One of Gaby’s famous lines is “I have to stop drinking soda,” but then two days later she is downing a Coke. I have zero issue with her drinking soda, but it does show me that she really doesn’t want to lose the baby weight.
Weight loss is not easy. Develop a plan and stick to it. Remember to develop a plan you can maintain long term and not just for a limited time. And next time you see a mom at the PTA meeting who is in great shape, give her credit for the amount of time and effort she puts into her daily routine. It’s hard work and she deserves kudos, not hate.
SHE SAID WHAT?!
Posted By Gaby
Hmm, I wonder who you’ve heard “it’s just impossible to lose the pounds” from because I’m no dummy. The weight isn’t impossible to lose, it’s just really tough. I’d like to note that it took me 7 months to lose the baby weight; yes I’m technically at my pre-baby weight. The issue here for me is that there are many factors that aren’t taken into consideration for women after having a baby.
First, there’s this relatively new trend of stupid celebrities having babies and then “gracing” the cover of a magazine in a bikini six or fewer months after having the kid. I’m smart enough to know that they’ve got a team of stylists, nutritionists, and trainers to lose the weight, but there are two things that drive me crazy about these celebrities. One is that they give exaggerated responses to how quickly they lose the weight. “Oh, I’ve been breastfeeding and that burned the weight right off.” Yes, breastfeeding burns about 800 calories a day, but you’ve got to ingest more than you regularly do to ensure you’re giving your baby nutrients and keeping some for yourself. Add to that that some of these celebrities actually stop breastfeeding before the American Pediatrics Association recommend they do (usually they stop at 5-6 months when the APA recommends breastfeeding till about 12 months), after which time they can diet and exercise like maniacs.
These ridiculous magazines then create the second issue I have with these “post-baby” covers: crazy real moms. Look, I know many awesome women who are disciplined enough to lose weight and maintain a healthy workout and nutrition regimen. I have an aunt who is this way and I admire her for this and other reasons. But these aren’t the moms I’m talking about. I’m talking about the bitch on Facebook who’s telling us that she just finished a 30 minute session of Insanity cuz bikini season is two months away or the one that had a baby two days ago and is telling you she already fits into her pre-pregnancy jeans. My favorite was one woman who had a baby about three months before I did who posted, about the time I went back to work, that she had just gone running and then stated that “breastfeeding is for stay-at-home moms.” Okay, good for you, but I am planning to breastfeed till my baby is a year old, and I know lots of incredible moms who pumped while at work. Don’t criticize us for choosing our baby’s health over fitting into our skinny jeans right away.
For me, I think this is a direct result of those celebrity magazines and celebrity mom culture that feeds into the insecurities of real women and real moms. As much of a secure and comfortable woman I might be, I can get caught up in the need to keep up with other real moms in a similar situation. I don’t, however, get caught up wanting to look like whichever Kardashian had a baby. We’re on different levels and I thank God for that.
The other issue is how quickly one loses weight and one’s expectations of weight loss. I’m really glad I chose not to overindulge and decided to exercise during this pregnancy. Had I gone the route of my first pregnancy, I might have at least 10 more pounds to lose. I actually do have about 10 or so pounds to lose to be at the weight I was before having babies. Please keep in mind that even that weight, according to my BMI scale, isn’t my ideal weight. But that was a place I was comfortable in, was healthy, and I knew I could maintain it.
Anyway, I digress. About two months ago, I joined Weight Watchers to see if I could get back to my pre-baby weight. When I filled out the form, they told me that since I was exclusively nursing, I shouldn’t lose more than 2 pounds a week. What?! Two pounds a week? At that rate, I’d be at my pre-baby weight by the time little Jamiroquai turns a year old! With my daughter, I didn’t breastfeed exclusively for a number of reasons, and so I was able to lose weight faster. I had an unrealistic expectation that this time around, my discipline and my efforts to lead a healthier life would be rewarded by getting back to pre-babies weight pretty quickly. I realized that Weight Watchers wouldn’t be the solution to my problems and chose to save my money and just eat healthy. For the most part, I do eat healthy and do try to go to the gym at least once a week for about an hour. I just don’t have the energy and the time to go as often as I need to go to lose two pounds a week.
At this moment, I’m at pre-Jamiroquai weight and have plateaued. Here is where Eric does have a point: I don’t work hard enough for it. But there are factors, or excuses depending on how you see it, that keep me from being an active gym rat like my dear Eric. First, I commute and I take my baby with me to work. Eric can go swimming during his lunch hour but I don’t get a full lunch because I bring a demanding baby to work. Second, I have a stressful job. Sure, my job isn’t at the caliber of other high-stress jobs, but I supervise staff and interns, work in a fast-paced environment, and bring my baby to work, which adds more stress. So yes, after I’m done working, have driven my 30 minutes home, made dinner and helped our daughter with her homework, all I want to do is loaf on our awesome couch watching “How I Met Your Mother” re-runs.
Finally, I’m tired. All the time. I can’t tell you if it’s some health issue, stress, or the fact that for the last 4+ years, we’ve had a kid in our bed, but that is tiring. Eric argues that he now knows what it’s like to sleep with Chincilla in our bed, since he has her on his side of the bed while I have Jamiroquai. He says that he still has the energy to wake up at 5:30am and go running. Well good for freaking you! I don’t, and I do try. For some reason, it’s tough for me to get up. Could I force myself to go? Maybe. But would I actually work out at the level I would if I had enough energy? Probably not. I don’t sleep as much as Eric does, I just don’t. I’m constantly worried one kid might not be breathing or unjamming a foot out of my rib cage. The reality is that I might not get enough sleep till after the kids leave the house. Eric can say he doesn’t sleep, but this guy can sleep through quakes.
I realize this rant may not have convinced you that losing the baby weight is a direct result of me not wanting it bad enough. I do want it badly, but have things that get in the way.